The Parish Pump for June 2004 by mD08AE


									             The Parish Pump for June 2004
Vicars Letter
Dear Friends,
it is always good to receive support, encouragement and help - and you will see
from this letter and the various notices after it, that there has been plenty of this
about, praise God! Many of my friends (often the same ones who thought I must
have been 'mad' to have taken on a Benefice of 12 churches - see my first ever
letter!), have seen my despondency at deciding to leave and realised they needed
to give me some comfort. 'Richard', they say, 'do not feel bad about leaving. It is
often the case that when a Benefice has had a Vicar for a long time, the next
incumbent does not stay long, but sets in motion lots of changes which help
prepare the ground for the successful ministry of his successor. Feel good about
that, and all that you have done that will help your successor - for it is the life of
the parishes, and their ability to work together, to care for each other and to
worship God and be moulded in the gentle image of the Good Shepherd that
matter - not you!' This, together with some words of Bishop Colin (listing all the
things that have been achieved in such a short time) have helped - and helped me
enjoy all the excitement around about who my successor might be.
One of the things that Liz Savage , Doreen Hart and I (and others ) had been
hoping to develop was this very magazine, especially ways in which it might reach
out more into the non-churchgoing element of our readership. As you will see from
the editorial, there is now a new editorial team (although Doreen is kindly stayi ng
on for the handing over process through June 8 July) and I am very grateful for
Richard Martin being willing to take on this challenge and to develop the magazine,
in many cases along lines that Liz and I had already thought about, although he
has plenty of ideas of his own too! I hope that Liz too will realise that she has
helped bring about something that is good and will develop even without her at the
helm, in much the same way as I must think about my parishes. Liz and I had what
I thought to be a particularly good working relationship and I am very very grateful
for all that she has done for the 'PP'! Richard is working on a new look for the
magazine for August - which will have my last letter.
I have also been much encouraged by many people saying, 'Oh! I did not realise
that I was meant to send a f5 donation to help with the magazine. I will send my
contribution to my churchwarden (or treasurer) as soon as I can!' Indeed there has
been one couple (who must remain anonymous) who are not Churchgoers at all
(indeed I believe that they are of another faith), but who so approve of what we are
doing and want to see it continue that they have sent in a cheque for ten times that
amount. Richard Martin has said that he has always rather approved of my
realisation that there might be people reading who are not churchgoers, by my
mentioning an occasional book that I have enjoyed: perhaps somebody might like
to write a book column?
I will end by mentioning the book that I am reading at the moment. I always like
coincidences - and just a few weeks ago a parishioner in Langford said that she
thought I would very much enjoy reading 'Tears of the Giraffe' by Alexander McCall
Smith. I have not yet had time to find it. On my last visit to Uppingham (to be told
that I would be teaching about Henry VIII and Wolsey as well as Philosophy of
Religion in the Vith Form!), after dinner with the Deputy Head (who went to
Birkenhead High School for Girls, where both my sisters went - as well as another
parishioner, this time in Filkins), she handed to me a book, saying 'Read this - you
will love it!.' It was 'The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' by - you've guessed it -
Alexander McCall Smith. And I am loving it - I recommend it to you all.

                         Your brother in the risen Christ, Richard

PS. Please note the exceptionally early deadline dat


As you will see from the list of services we are continuing with our Youth Worship,
an informal celebration of Holy Communion (what I would call Mass) which is
particularly for young people. Young people we have tended to define as c 10-20
years old - but there was one celebration when a whole family (Mum & Dad too)
came with children much younger than 10 - and that was a very happy occasion!
We will not be able to remind you every time - but it will always be the evening
before the Benefice Service at 5.30pm and at Shilton - and Neville and Liz are
going to make sure that this will continue through any 'interregnum' (the term
commonly, albeit incorrectly, used about the time when a parish is without a vicar.
It is incorrect, because the Vicar is not a King and he certainly
does not rule: as you can see I am cut out to be a teacher!). Neville & Liz will take the
services, but I know that they are going to be supported in this by Barbara Browne
(01367 252772) and Jane Brylewski (01993 822479) - so do feel free to contact them

The next three 'masses' are ones that I will celebrate on June 5th, July 3rd and July
31st. As has been my custom, they might well have a 'high church' feel to them - so I
would be really pleased if one of the young was prepared to learn how to use incense
and swing a thurible - but we'll need some practice! We also plan to have a PARTY
after the July 3rd Mass, as most of the young will have finished their exams by then -
don't forget to pray for them!


The celebrant (or leader) of a service of Holy Communion must be a priest, who
holds a licence from the Bishop, or some other authority, such as 'permission to
officiate'. Under certain circumstances, a churchwarden may lead (or 'take') Matins
or Evensong. Otherwise the person who leads in an act of worship is meant to be
licensed by the Bishop - that is why we have something called 'licensed lay ministry',
and we are always grateful to the Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs) who occasionally
take services in our Benefice (their initial are explained under the list of services).
 The Bishop has given his permission for Marjorie Barstow to take some of our
 'Family Services' - and she with me, Neville 8 Liz has met with a group of people
 who are sharing that ministry with her, because the time is approaching when
 Marjorie would like to 'retire'! It is important that you know that this group of people
 has been meeting and will continue to meet for mutual support and for guidance by
 the clergy: if you can think of anyone who might be part of that group, please contact
 Marjorie or one of the clergy. They meet next on June 25th.
 There is going to be a special day precisely on worship on Saturday October 23rd at
 the Marlborough School in Woodstock, organised by the oxford Archdeaconry and
 called 'CELEBRATION PRAISE'. This is exactly the sort of thing that this group
 would benefit from and I am encouraging them and anybody else to attend: most of
 our 12 churches have put up posters about this, but there will be details in 'The
 Door' and on the Diocesan Website:

From Roy Roger's gravestone, Apple Valley, California
Oh Lord, I reckon I'm not much just by myself.
I fail to do a lot of things I ought to do.
But Lord, when trails are steep and passes high,
Help me to ride it straight the whole way through.
And when in the falling dusk I get the final call,
I do not care how many flowers they send-
Above all else, the happiest trail would be
For You to say to me, "Let's ride, My friend."


In the long and honourable tradition of parishioners to burst
into verse at every opportunity, here is the Bard of Kencot on
the passing (geographical only! of the Vicar
  Boyish looks and a ready smile,
  An open face, quite free from guile.
  Not quite short, yet not too tall,
  A product of St Stephen's Hall.
  Bows to the cross as a matter of course,
  But never rhymes it with a horse.
  A down-to-earth bloke who's rather high;
  Not mine to pose the question why.
  Rather given to tinkling bells
  And the noxious fumes of holy smells.
  Peering through the flickering light
  of ecclesiastical candlelight.
  Listening to what folks have to say;
  Absolving those who've gone astray.
  Never stands on his dignity:
  A rather rare quality, it seems to me.
  Easy to talk to: now there's a gift
  For giving spirits a bit of a lift.
A sense of humour that bubbles through
Whenever he stops to chat to you.
His vowels are no longer flat,
But he's a northerner for all that.
"Across the water," as we say,
Is still a Scouser any day,
And his alma mater I used to know
When I played hooker in my school's front row.
Now, so soon, he's on his way
And we shall live to rue the day,
For we shall tread so many a mile
To find a priest with Richard's smile.

As I settle into the benefice, people are asking me which days
I am working. My license is for Sunday plus two other days,
and I have decided to spread those two days over three,
which makes things more flexible. So I am gradually
developing a pattern of working on Mondays, Wednesdays and
Fridays (or Saturdays if I am taking weddings). I have my
granddaughter here every Thursday, and I hope to take
Tuesday as a regular day off.
Many thanks to those of you who have insisted that I must
not do too much, especially during the interregnum; I have
taken your concern to heart! But please don't worry about
contacting me on a 'wrong' day - the answerphone is always
on, and you are welcome to call and leave a message if I am
not available.

                                  Liz Johnson


Following the Lent Lunches f395 was collected and we sent
£200 to both Biblelands and to Christian Aid. I was mystified
to know what Biblelands did, and thought that many might
now like to know. They do work in the original Bibleland,
which is today parts of Israel/Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt;
they provide "Christian Love in Action" in the areas of
Education, Social Care, Medical Care and Vocational and Adult
Training in this war torn area. They have been doing this for
150 years.
One of their travelling fundraisers quoted a lovely and
memorable sentence: "In my travels, I have found the old
saying to be true - that in the kingdom of God, there are no
 strangers, only friends you haven't met yet." They can be
 found at
 Christian Aid in their letter of thanks mentioned work done in
 Burkina Faso, which is rated the third poorest nation in the
 world. Marks go to anyone who has heard of this nation and
 higher marks if you can pin it on the map of the world.

                          Chris Fox Benefice Treasurer.

CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP We meet again on Wednesday June
2nd at 2.45pm in the Filkins Methodist Chapel schoolroom. Our
speaker on this occasion will be The Rev Michael Gillyead, who is
a retired Methodist Minister living in Witney. We are always happy
to welcome new-comers and visitors to our meetings. CHOIR

June 13th at 4.00pm: our visit to the cathedral and the home of
Archdeacon John Morrison. Please let Wanda know if you would
like to share transport with anyone.

our June rehearsals are at

Kencot Village Hall on the 16th, 23rd and 30th (not forgetting
the beforeservice preparation at Kelmscott on June 6th).

Keep a song in your heart!

                             Wanda 01993 700765

From The Registers

May 23rd at       Charlotte Elizabeth
Broadwell         White
                  Alexandra Caroline
May 30th at
                  Jessica Todd
May 30th at
                  Rory Joseph Jones
April 30th Reginald John Colson aged
                   81years of Shilton
      Private Cremation at Kingsdown
followed by Service of Thanksgiving at

  As Richard has trailed above, Liz Savage has completed the
  monumental task of combining The Broadshire Link and The
  Signpost. The Parish Pump is happily gurgling away, and we all
  thank Liz and her team for their efforts. The new editorial team
  is working on further changes over the coming months, and
  welcomes all ideas, contributions, letters, advertisements and
  criticism (good or bad, and your E5 donations! Ed) either
  through    your   village  co-respondents      or   directly   to Please copy all submissions to


The deadline for all copy for the July issue of Parish Pump is
(exceptionally) June 8th. Thereafter it will be the 9th of every

                         RJM (Tel. 01367 860660)


other local

Parish Pump is available on-line through these sites. You can
have your own copy emailed directly to you from David Oakey

          Church Wardens f S Peter's
              Mrs. Sue Cave 01993 846696
            Mr. Peter Bagnaf 01993 842238



 The fete is on June 19th, so come and have a good afternoon, and if you want to
 take photographs beside Jenson Button's F1 Car, remember to bring your camera!
 As ever, there is lots to do, see and enjoy, so come along, join in the fun of the
 afternoon and help raise funds for the village. Collectors will be visiting you soon
 for cakes, plants, bottles etc and to sell raffle tickets (first prize £100) so please be
 generous. The Fete opens at 2.00pm on the Playing Field, and there is a prize for
 the Lucky Programme.

September 4th WI Village Show
October 9th Village Hall Quiz
December loth Oxford Touring Theatre's "Noah's Ark"


Saturday June 26th from 2.OOpm to 3.00pm at Shill House (the house with the purple
tree). Books (lots of gardening books, including many new ones), furniture and bric -a-
brac. Half proceeds to St Peter's School, Alvescot. Please do not park in the drive.


It is the time of year when our Year 2 children have been taking their Statutory
Assessment Tests (SAT's) and once again it is with an enormous sense of pride that
we, at St Peter's, celebrate the way in which they have approached these tests. The
self-confidence, self-knowledge and the ability to apply themselves, even when faced
with the most challenging of tasks, that these six and seven year olds have shown is
truly remarkable. The strength of character that each individual child has shown and the
support and encouragement that they have provided for each other during this time
encompasses all that we value in the education that we provide for the children at St
Peter's. With the tests behind us we can now look forward to what the remainder of the
year holds in store for us. All the children have been enjoying the wonderful sunshine
and making the most of the opportunity to be outside!

Dudley and Peter, a pair of parrots from the Cotswold Wildlife Park joined our assembly
this month to celebrate World Parrot Day on May 31st and all the children have been
 given tickets for entry into the park on this day. All funds raised on the day will go
 towards saving the parrots' natural habitats.

 On Friday May 28th the school will be raising money for hearing dogs for deaf people by
 celebrating 'Togs for Dogs' day. All the children will be invited to wear non -school
 uniform and make a donation of a £1. A school governor, Mary Neale and her dog,
 Hattie will be attending a school assembly to celebrate the event.

 The whole school will be taking part in our Partnership Music Festival at Bampton
 Primary School on 15th June, singing 'Caterpillar Boogie and Tadpole Rag' and the
 children of St Peter's will open the village fete on Saturday 19th June with these songs.
 We look forward to seeing you there!

    Black Bourton

            Church Wardens f S Mary's
            Mrs Marjorie Worth 01993 842477
            Mr. Frank Stewart-Wood 01993
Marjorie Worth 01993 842477
Items for inclusion in Parish Pump
Jackie Garrett 01993 843746 email:


St Mary's Church, Black Bourton will be open all weekend from Friday July 16th to
Sunday July 18th for our flower Festival. Demonstration theme 'Of Heaven and
Earth'. There will be a flower demonstration by Jane Belcher on Friday July 16th at
7.30pm. Tickets at f5, which include first glass of wine and nibbles, are availa ble
from Christine Pope 01993 845998 and Doreen Hart 01993 844124.
On Saturday 17th there will be a Coffee Morning 10.00am - Midday with plant and
cake stalls. The Festival will end on Sunday evening at 6.00pm with 'Songs of

Please come and join us and visit our lovely Church. FETE

The Fete will be on Sunday September 12th at the Play Park


         Church Wardens of SS Peter &
         Mr Roger Goodenough 01367
         Mr Jack Auger 01367 860566
Barstow (Kencot)

RIDE Fr STRIDE SEPTEMBER 2003 &2004 For Oxfordshire
Historic Churches Trust
The total raised last year in our Deanery was almost £100,000. Unfortunately, we
didn't have any riders or striders Last year from our village but hope we can do better
this year? The date is SATURDAY 11th SEPTEMBER. Please make a note in your
diary and help if you can - get your bikes oiled, tyres pumped up, horses exercised or
your walking shoes on and more importantly your sponsors lined up. It is a much
needed way of raising money for the fabric of our Church.

                                              Mary Pescod


          Church Wardens f S Peter's
          Mr. Jim Cover 01367 860302
          Mr. Richard Greenwood


 June 6th 8 13th          Mrs Cross

  June 20th 8 27th        Mrs Wise
                             TO SURGERIES
FOR                  SERVICE
June 1st       Dr Squire`          860337
June 3rd       Dr Squire           860337
June 8th       Mrs Morley          860420
June           Little Col
10th           Barstow
               Mr Coleman          860571
               Mrs Godfrey         860498
June           Mrs Neville-
22nd           Rolfe
June           Mrs Lauzier         860644
                 Mr Woodford           860319
 July 1st        Mr Woodford           860319
 July 6th        Mrs Higham            860197
 luly 8th        Lady Cripps           860209

   Denotes change

General Contacts for Surgery Service and Hospital Appointments: Mr Tony
Woodford 860319 and Mrs Assiter 860545
 If neither is available to answer queries, Lady Cripps 860209 will help ..


You think you know Filkins? Come and discover the intricacies of Smocks and Smocking,
Working with Wood, and Filkins Stone at the Swinford Museum. Take part in the British
Legion's Poppy Hunt around the village and visit St Peter's Church for Wedding
Memories: A glittering display of Wedding Gowns and Christening Robes from dating
back to 1899. Teas available on the lawn. Sunday June 27th from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. "A
little light Nostalgia in a lovely setting"

 7.30pm, Tuesday June loth in filkins Village Hall - come and see " Master and
 Commander - The Far Side of the World" starring Russell Crowe. Only £2.50 (on the


 Children's DIY Drama Day Saturday October 9th 10.00am-4.00pm Calling all
 Wannabe's! Try out your hand with: producing, directing, lighting, sound effects,
 special effects, makeup, publicity and drama. This is your chance to see what Filkins
 Children's Theatre can offer and you get to do it all yourselves! (Our adult experts in
 the above will be available on standby, to help, advise and encourage.)
 Who can do it? Anyone 5 years and over How much is it? Just
 £3 per child
 How do I reserve a place? Contact Pat Scott 01993 846255 or Pam Assiter 01367

Book early to avoid disappointment CONQUERING HEROS AND HEROIC CONKS
Appletree Theatre will once again bring rusbustious, live theatre to the Courtyard at
Cotswold Woollen Weavers with a production of Cyrano De Bergerac. 7.30pm on
Saturday July 31st and 7.30pm Sunday August 1st. Come and revel in love, death, and
swash-buckling for £7 (adults) and £2 (children). Telephone 01367 860491 and book
your tickets now.

 June 20th       Filkins Feast
    June 27th       Patronal Festival
    July 3rd        Summer Ball
    July 10th       Gabriel and the Bear
    July 10th       Inquisition Quiz
    July 11th       Swimming Gala
    July 17th       Filkins Theatre Production
    July 18th       Car Treasure Hunt
    July 24th       Evening Street Party
                    Closing service at St Peter's
    July 25th

For more information, contact David Clifton (01367 860648 or email ) or
Mary Bohm (01367 860161 or email


The agenda and minutes of Council meetings are displayed on the village notice boards,
and at the Post Office. A more comprehensive file of information is available in the coffee
shop at Cotswold Woollen Weavers (Mondays to Saturday 10.00am - 6.00pm and
Sundays 2.00pm - 6.00pm).

                Church Wardens of S Mary's
                Mr Reggie Heyworth 01993 824193
                Dr. Jane Brylewski 01993 822479


Mr Reggie Heyworth          01993 824193

No news this month


                Church Wardens of S. George's
                 Mrs Ellie Mau han 01367252220

                   Mrs. /eon Dufty 01367252270

    PARISH PUMP REPRESENTATIVE Mrs Ellie Maughan 01367 252220

Sunday June 20th - 2.00pm-5.00pm - teas will be provided in the Village Hall and there
will be plants and crafts for sale also. All proceeds will go towards fund -raising for the


Saturday June 19th - 2.00pm at No 1 Council House, Kelmscott in aid of local Cancer
Hospices. Stalls to include jumble, books, brie a brat etc. If you wish to donate any items
please call Mrs Hatton on 01367 252803.


Self-contained B & B accommodation in quiet garden near church in Kelmscott: All on
ground level with own patio, table and chairs. Sleeps two in large room with easy
chairs. Own bathroom and kitchen counter, 'fridge and microwave. Tel: 01367 252270


         Church Wardens of S George's
         Miss Helen Squire 01367860337
         Mr Jonathan Fyson 01367860223
June 5th Mrs Eustace
June 12th & 19th Mrs Robins
June 26th & July 3rd Mrs

           Church Wardens f S Matthew's
           Mr Richard Kirby 01367 860205
           Mr David Range 01367 860314
June 6th Mrs. D Lowden
June 13th 8 20th Mrs. C Johnston
June 27th Mrs. J Pitkin
 Chancel and Porch Mrs. M Webb
 Nave Mrs. C Macdonald 8 Mrs. J. Pitkin
 Brass Mrs J Pitkin

Our small gathering welcomed Mrs. Dorothy Wise our speaker for May, who gave us a
very interesting talk entitled "Introducing William". It all started when Mrs. Wise found an
engraving in her house which said "William May 6th 1763", from this she was able to
trace a family history which was published in Horse 8 Hound. A diary was given from the
son "William", (found in Middle House), which has some wonderful writings of the time.
Details of seeing Queen Victoria's 18th birthday and trips to the country houses from
London are just a few of the items of interest. The most recent publication is available
from the Red Lion Bookshop, Burford, and is entitled "William Taylor: Footman".

The lucky raffle winners were Mrs. D. Wise, Sarah Templeman, Sue Herbert, Cherry
MacDonald and Jane Stevens. Our meeting next month will be on June 10th, but will be
held at St. Christopher's School due to the polling station being at the Village Hall. We
will start at the usual time of 7.30pm. Ann will be bringing along her dog, talking about the
Guide dogs for the Blind, and also bringing along some items to sell.


   On Sunday June 6th, between 2.OOpm and 6.00pm, twenty gardens will be open
   under the National Gardens Scheme. Entry is E4 and children free! Added
   attractions include a flower festival in St Matthew's Church, teas, plant stall and
   produce stall. All proceeds from these to St. Matthew's Church.


   Come and join us for a great family day organised by the Church, Hall & School on
   Saturday june 26th at St. Christopher's School, Langford. Official opening by our
   surprise guest at 2pm. Fete open from 2pm to 5pm. Free Entry. Come and watch
   the dancing and marshall arts, listen to the band and enjoy all the traditional stalls:
   Wellie Wanging, Face Painting, Plants, Cakes, Lucky Dip, Treasure Hunt, Duck
   Game, Tog of War and Raffle. Decorated garden plate, vegetable animals
   competitions and many more fantastic things to do. Call the school for more
   information on 01367 860318


   Everyone has been trying especially hard this month at St Christopher's. All the
   children have been striving to do their best during SATS week. Now everyone is
   glad it is over, just in time for the sun coming out! This month our new all weather
   pitch has been opened and is in use. The children are very eager to play on it. It
   has already seen numerous games of football and been used during hockey club. It
   will prove an excellent asset to the school.
   On the April 26th St Christopher's took part in the schools cross country running
   competition at Cokethorpe School. It was an excellent outing where all the children
   involved had fun. We were able to take a number of children from each year. We
   had some very good results from a number of children and everyone made sure
   they gave 100%
 Last months tag rugby competition held at Witney rugby club was cancelled
 because of poor weather conditions. That tournament will now be held on the May
 27th. We made use of the extra time by practising especially hard, so hopefully we
 will win the tournament.
 in class 4 the children have begun to consider the concept of sacred texts and
 what specific holy books mean to each religion. They have begun by creating an
 acrostic poem of the word sacred. Below is one poem written by William Findlay

Sacred statue here enshrined,
Around here to be praised by
Christians here praising God,
Rightly come to the sacred
Evermore people come here
Down to church, the bells we
Little Faringdon

           a urch Wardens of S Ma rgaret's
           Mr. George Ponsonby 01367252278
           Miss Esme Morgan 01367252208


Barbara Browne 01367 252772 Email: Johnson THE

This will be on Sunday, July 18th, at Little Faringdon Mill. This year's summer lunch is
to be hosted by Mr and Mrs John Taylor. More details to follow, but please put this date
in your diaries now!

We were painting the church
steeple grey,
When the wind blew our brushes
We said to the pastor,
"We've had a disaster!"
He calmly replied, "Let us spray."


          Church Wardens of Ho(y Rood
           Mr John Price 01993 847039
           Mr David Roberts 01993 841194

PARISH PUMP REPRESENTATIVE Lorna Walker                  Email:


An invitation is extended to all residents of Shilton Parish to attend a leaving party for
Father Richard at 6.OOpm on Saturday June 26th in the garden of Johnson's Farm,
Shilton. (Undercover in the dutch barn if wet).


The Easter Events were well attended and raised E210 for the Old School. The photo
chosen as overall favourite was taken by an Australian visitor to Shilton, David Ellis.
Copies of his photo, and the four chosen as the most popular candidates for a new
calendar or Christmas card, will be displayed in the old school for everyone to see.


The next event is the Barn Dance/Ceilidh on Saturday, May 15th, at Johnson's Farm
from 8.00pm until midnight. Tickets in advance only. Numbers are limited, so order your
tickets early to avoid disappointment. Adult ticket E8, Adult plus up to 4 children E12,
Two Adults plus up to 4 children E20 (from David Cuthbertson, OSMC, Honeystone
Cottage, Ladburn Lane, Shilton, 0X18 4AJ.01993 846009). Prizes for best costumes.
Light refreshments on sale during the evening but bring your own booze.

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of D-Day, and raise some funds for charity, we
are holding a D-Day dinner on Saturday, June 5h, in the Old School. Three courses
(some authentic wartime recipes!) for E10 per person. Again, numbers will be limited so
to reserve a place contact David Cuthbertson as above.

And a reminder that our Open Gardens day will be on Sunday, June 13th, 1.OOpm
to 6.OOpm
 August 22nd Fete
 September      Wine 8 Cheese
 18th           party
 October 16th Quiz Night
 November       Bonfire and
 5th            fireworks
Shirley Cuthbertson

 The meeting on May 14th was at Shilton House. Tom & Nicola Barry invited us to view
 the house now that it has been gutted prior to complete restoration. Julia Melvyn MA
 was also invited along and gave expert information on the construction of this grand
 old house. We are very grateful to Tom and Nicola Barry and Julia Melvyn for making
 this such a pleasant and informative evening.
    The next meeting will be on June 11th and will be walk around Alvescot. Martin Way
    will be our guide. We will meet at Alvescot Church at 7.00pm. Mervyn Whitfield

 Church Wardens of S Mary's
            Mrs. Annette Ba ldwin 01993 823432
                     Mr Chris Fox 01993 823131


 Mr Chris Fox            01993 823131

 No news this month

   Nature Notes
   by David Roberts

What an explosion of bloom there has been over the last week to ten days (May 18th
today). Never can I remember the May bushes being so crammed with blossom on
every branch. Complemented by cow parsley at ground level with its distinctive smell.
In fact cow parsley has had many local names over the years - kek, adder's meat,
devil's meat, bad man's oatmeal and the most picturesque one - Queen Anne's lace.
Bluebell's have been in profusion and blossom in the gardens has not been hit by
frost this year so the wisteria is at its best now. Everywhere is green with new growth
and the grass has been romping away over the last week of warm weather following
on from a wet spell as I know for my cost after returning from a week on the isle of
Arran, off the West Coast of Scotland where the weather was a lot kinder.

 April 28th saw the arrival of the first swifts in Shilton but were greeted by cold wet
 As I mentioned the first week of May we spent on the wonderful picturesque Scottish
 Island of Arran (not to be confused with the Aran islands, of wool jumper fame, off
 the west coast of Ireland). Arran is Scotland in miniature covering an area of 165
 square miles. The highest peak is Goatfell at 2,866 feet and it took us five hours up
 and back. It was while climbing this that I saw my first cuckoo of the year which flew
 back and forth over our heads proclaiming its presence before we left the trees
 behind and struck out over rock.
Another vociferous bird on the heights was a pair of ravens making a deep throated
cronking sound. A glossy black bird, the largest passerine and bigger than our
buzzard. The extra length of a raven neck allows it to carry a large amount of food
perhaps a long distance. A raven carrying a full load of food to its young can be told
afar off, so conspicuous is the bagged throat. I have seen one flying over Shilton.
Some raven's nests are added to year after year and have reached six feet high.
Sightings of golden eagles, great northern, black throated and red throated divers
were some of the birds which made up the 104 species we saw on this memorable
On our return to Shilton the first sound to great us was the scream of a formation of
swifts making a fly past over the church.

                                             David Roberts


Steam buffs John and Gwen Bamford remind us that the (occasional!) bus was not
always the only available public transport. She has found a timetable from 1938 for the
Fairford to Paddington railway line, stopping at Alvescott, Kelmscott and Langford.
About 6 trains each way for 17s 8d (go on work it out!) return from Alvescott to
Paddington. The timetable also records the populations of the villages as Alvescott 278,
Kelmscott 114 and Langford 268.


BBC's Songs of Praise will be visiting Blenheim Palace on Sunday August 1st.
Admission is Free, but you must book tickets in advance. Telephone 0161 244 3269
June 18th       The Corner House, Charlbury
July 16th       Bartholomew Rooms, Eynsham
The       are 5.00pm to 7.00pm. For appointments
surgeries telephone 01993

There is to be a review of the financial management systems in the light of concerns
about accounting relating to a small section of the council's budget.
Treasures that are normally not on view will be among the attractions at special
open days at the County Council's Museums Resource Centre at Standlake. Tours
must be booked in advance and will be on June 3rd, July 1st, September 2nd and
October 7th. To book telephone 01865 300972. The County Council has signed a
contract to provide a real-time bus information for the County.


The Council has just been given f 13 million for the provision of affordable homes
(21 in Carterton)
Re-cycling! Despite teething troubles, in the first week of the new scheme over 300
tons of material was collected, compared with an average of 96 tons previously.
Aerosols, plastics, household batteries, cardboard, paper, textiles, glass, cans and
foil can all be put in your black boxes.
Discounted home composters are again available. For details, telephone 0870
Cogges Manor Farm is now open for the new season - details on
or telephone 01993 772602.

A cultural weekend is to be organized on September 11th & 12th. WERE YOU

Calling ex-service personnel who served in the Suez Canal Zone for at least four
months between 1949 and 1954. You have recently become entitled to the General
Service Medal. Details can be obtained from the Area Representative of The Suez
Veterans Association, Percy Miles, on 01793 851038.


One day in the Garden of Eden, Eve calls out to God, "Lord, I know you've created
me and have provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals, but
I'm really lonely, and sick to death of apples." "Well, Eve, in that case, I have a
solution. I shall create a man for you." "What's a 'man', Lord?"
"This man will be an aggressive creature, with an enormous ego and an inability to
empathize or listen to you properly. But, he'll be bigger and faster and more
muscular than you, so he'll be really good at fighting and kicking a ball about and
hunting fleet-footed ruminants to provide more interesting food."
"Sounds great!" says Eve, only a bit doubtfully. "Oh, but you can
only have him on one condition." "What's that, Lord?"

"You'll have to let him believe that I made him first."

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